Are there cognitive subtypes in adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

David A. Gansler, Robert Fucetola, Maxine Krengel, Sean Stetson, Rose Zimering, Chris Makary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

There has been increasing knowledge of the treatment, diagnosis, and demographics of adults with residual attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, less is known about the neuropsychological functioning in adults with residual ADHD. In comparing the clinical neuropsychological test performance of a group of adult clinic patients with residual ADHD (N = 30) with that of normal controls (N = 10), we found the patients performed worse on the Trail Making Test, a visual continuous performance test, and the 'Brown-Peterson' Auditory Consonant Trigrams Test, but not on any other neuropsychological measures. This pattern indicated a deficit in the area of executive control type functioning, a functional deficit that could be linked to dysregulation of frontal lobe brain systems. Of equal interest was that patients diagnosed with ADHD/hyperactive impulsive type (ADHD+) and patients diagnosed with ADHD/inattentive type (ADHD-) had different types of executive system deficits. ADHD+ was associated with relative deficiency on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. ADHD- was associated with relative deficiency on the 'Brown-Peterson' Auditory Consonant Trigrams Test, a measure of working memory, as well as less olfactory identification on a smell identification test. The data are discussed in terms of recent localization theories of frontal lobe function. The preliminary data suggest that the different cognitive weaknesses of ADD subtypes may be linked to dysregulation of separate frontal brain regions and/or neurotransmitter systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-781
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume186
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

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